Pomegranates have long been known as a super food. Pomegranate has been studied for its anti-cancer properties and has been shown to destroy breast, lung, and prostate cancer cells in mice. It may protect cartilage and arteries, lower blood pressure, and bring down cholesterol levels. Research also suggests that drinking pomegranate juice may protect against dental plaque formation. I usually use pomegranate seeds in salads, so I was excited to try this pretty simple recipe. In fact, all I had to buy was chicken and pomegranate juice - everything else was already in my pantry.
Cooking with 100% juice is a great way to impart flavor to a dish while sneaking in key nutrients. Of course, whole fruit is always best if choosing between fruit and fruit juice, but fruit juice can have its place in the kitchen. Look for 100% juice with no additives. If choosing juice made from fruits on the Dirty Dozen list, such as apple or berry juice, opt for organic.
For another awesome dish using fruit juice, check out my Cider-glazed Chicken with Browned Butter Pecan Rice. I made it again last week for my husband, and he said it was one of the best things I had ever made. I aim to please around here!
Y'all know my obsession with crockpots. This recipe is great if you have the option to come home at work or if you make it on a weekend day, since it only cooks for 4-6 hours. According to the husband, this was "incredibly tender and flavor rich." We didn't even need knives to cut it!
Crockpot Pomegranate Chicken (adapted from this recipe)
4 chicken breasts, boneless, skinless (1.5 – 2 lbs) - I used organic boneless chicken thighs
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
Kosher or sea salt to taste
1 teaspoon coriander
1 teaspoon chili powder
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 teaspoon dried oregano
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon Whole Grain Mustard with Garlic (Dijon will work if whole grain mustard isn’t available)
2 tablespoons honey
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 1/2 cups pomegranate juice, (no sugar added)
In a small mixing bowl combine all the herbs and spices.
Whisk together in a large mixing bowl half of the herb and spice mix and the extra virgin olive oil.
Rinse chicken, pat dry with a paper towel. Coat chicken with the herb and oil mixture, place in the slow-cooker. Note: this method of rubbing olive oil on the chicken before adding to the slow-cooker helps to seal in the moisture.
Turn slow-cooker to low and cook 4 hours on high or 6 hours on low. I had 6 hours to spare before dinner, so I did mine on low.
After chicken is done remove from the slow-cooker, place on a serving platter and drizzle with remaining liquid. This extra moist chicken pairs nicely with a small side of (whole grain) pasta, brown rice, or quinoa, plus plenty of fall veggies. I sprinkled fresh pomegranates on top for a bit of color/texture and paired with a strawberry and goat cheese salad plus oven-roasted carrots and broccoli. Yum!